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Psychological Manipulation in eCommerce Design | UX Booth

Web designers and architects use an array of psychological tricks to manipulate users into specific behaviors. What can be learned from these tricks? And, more importantly, is it ethical?

In the July 2011 issue of Wired Magazine, behavioral economist and psychology professor Dan Ariely wrote a feature on the psychological tricks used by some of today’s biggest websites. The article, “Gamed,” discusses how sites like Amazon and Groupon encourage certain types of spending behaviors through the implementation of design elements—”encourage” is one word, anyway. In another light, this tactic can appear as straight-up manipulation.

Not too long ago, I met with and spoke to Ariely about his book, Predictably Irrational, which delves into the many ways humans act seemingly irrationally, and how businesses have learned to capitalize on such. When it comes to e-commerce sites—shops that benefit from the ease of which users can instantly funnel money into them—Ariely noted that it’s obviously not about getting shoppers to make smarter decisions, but to give them a justification of their spending habits. The better a site’s users feel about their transactions, the more likely there will be repeat visits and, more importantly, repeat spending.

Continue reading this article at: Psychological Manipulation in eCommerce Design | UX Booth.


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